Harvestehuder the kings of Europe for the first time

FINAL, Eindhoven: Michael
Korper and Tobias Walter combined to fire Harvestehuder to their first Euro
Hockey League title, edging out home favourites Oranje Zwart on penalties.

A pulsating final had
ended 2-2 as the German club twice came back from a goal down and they held
their nerve in the shoot-out, winning 3-1 with Walter making the saves and
Walter duly spinning to push home the winning goal.

In so doing, they lifted
the trophy for the first time, becoming the first side to win it in their debut
in the competition since UHC Hamburg in the inaugural season.

The first half was a tight
affair with very little between the teams with Tobias Hauke and Benjamin Stanzl
leading a perfectly compact Harvestehuder defence in the face of a side packed
with an embarrassment of riches.

Sander Baart, as part of
an all-action performance, fired one just wide while Mink van der Weerden
missed out on a rare field goal from Bob de Voogd’s sharp cross. In defence,
van der Weerden subsequently scooped one away from the goal line after Moritz
Polk’s good run.

Gabriel Dabanch’s delicate
lob landed on the face of the crossbar to keep it scoreless until the last play
of the first half when de Voogd made a great run down the left to win his
side’s first corner.

After a reset, van der
Weerden powered home the corner for a 1-0 half-time lead. The lead lasted until
five minutes into the second half when Nicolas Spooner latched onto a mistake
at the centre of the host side’s defence to push past Mark Jenniskens – just
the third goal he had let in during this year’s campaign.

Dabanch saw Tobias Walter
save another corner while van der Weerden and the goalkeeper also did well to
keep out a number of other OZ efforts.

He was unable to stop the
unmarked Rob Reckers who race onto the end of Rashid Mehmood’s left wing ball
into the centre, making it 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining.

Again, the lead did not
last long as Michael Korper – following a run of four penalty corners – flicked
the ball into the top right corner over the postman,

It set up the final
quarter nicely but no further goals came as Walter saved well from Baart and de
Voogd in the final moments to give themselves a chance at a penalty shoot-out.

They duly prevailed, leading
from the start of the penalties as Gabriel Dabanch miscued in round one. Tobias
Hauke was fouled by Jenniskens, allowing Paul Pongs to score a penalty stroke
for 1-0. With Rob van der Horst and Baart also missing, it meant that when
Stanzl and Korper finished their chances, the title was heading to
Harvestehuder for the first time.
Harvestehuder: T Walter, M
Polk, R Dawson-Smith, M Korper, T Lietz, T Hauke, T Linsmeier, B Stanzl, C
Borchard, T Stockmann, X Husan

Subs: P Pongs, A Pohling,
S Feller, J Bjorkman, F Kohler, N Spooner
Oranje Zwart: M
Jennisjens, S Baart, M Balkestein, J Galema, T Briels, M van der Weerden, N van
der Schoot, B de Voogd, G Dabanch, R van der Horst, E van Strydonck

Subs: R Mehmood, R
Muhammand, F Ahmed, T Bams, R Reckers

Image Credit: Euro Hockey League/Frank Uijlenbroek. This image may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of the EHL or the photographer.